John Kerry: Israel Is To Blame For the Breakdown In Peace Talks

John Glaser, April 09, 2014

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Via Juan Cole and Mondoweiss, John Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday featured a clear admission that Israel was the cause of the collapse of peace negotiations with the Palestinians. First, the Israeli government refused to fulfill its promise to release Palestinian prisoners and then announced the construction of 700 new settlement units in East Jerusalem. Here’s Kerry:

In my judgment both leaders have made courageous and important decisions up until now. For Prime Minister Netanyahu to release prisoners is a painful, difficult political step to take, enormously hard, and the people of Israel have been incredibly supportive and patient in giving him the space in order to do that. In exchange for the deal being kept of the release of prisoners and not going to the U.N. Unfortunately, the prisoners weren’t released on the Saturday they were supposed to be released. And so day went by, day two went by day three went by and then in the afternoon when they were about to maybe get there, 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem. And poof! That was sort of the moment.

And now today, “an Israeli government official says the prime minister, Binjamin Netanyahu, has told his ministers to stop holding meetings with their Palestinian counterparts,” the Guardian reports, marking an official end to negotiations. Netanyahu blamed it on Palestinian attempts to sign on to international treaties, even though this happened after the events that Kerry argues dissolved talks.

Why would Israel want to deliberately terminate negotiations? The answer: Israel opposes a Palestinian state. A recent report from the European Union concluded that Israel’s construction of Jewish settlements is a deliberate strategy aimed at rendering a viable Palestinian state impossible. As The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg has written, “The right-wing wants the land, but not the people.” The better option, Israeli policy seems to indicate, is to smoke them out.

This should be surprising to no one. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party Charter describes Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza as “the realization of Zionist values” and declares the whole of the West Bank and Jerusalem as belonging to Israel (“The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river”). Did Kerry actually believe the Netanyahu government was entering into negotiations in good faith?

Update: I guess to demonstrate their good faith, influential right-wing members of the Israeli Knesset are calling on Netanyahu to “annex the West Bank now.”




25 Responses to “John Kerry: Israel Is To Blame For the Breakdown In Peace Talks”

  1. This is the first time an American politician has
    been honest . Congratulation Mr Kerry , I hope more of your compatriots take note.

  2. And so the Palestinian shall pay the price. To-day it was announced that Israel will be with holding the taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, until it can be determined what Israel is owed for "pensions and support payments" made to released 'terrorists' and 'criminals'. Such releases were tied to peace negotiations.

  3. The sad part is that our tax dollars will continue to flow to the apartheid state of Israel……without a blink from Obama.

  4. The Israeli government is arrogant and filled with hubris. It has military superiority now but things can change, and they most likely will. They are insuring that there will be no peace between them and their neighbors.

    If Israel isn't going to seriously support a two state solution by removing settlements then the US shouldn't be funding it nor wasting its resources organizing regular international theater productions in order to keep the dead dream alive. Why not let Putin do it?

  5. It’s the occupation dummy! Israeli illegal colonies are simply another arm of the relentless Zionist project to ethnically cleanse Palestine of the native people. Starting with plan dalet there is a deliberate,planned effort to forever prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

  6. I truly wonder whether this will appear at all in mainstream media sources. I don't see how they could report the collapse of the peacetalks without mentioning this

  7. If Israel goes forward and "annexes" the West Bank, will the anti-Russian Banderas supporters in CONgress call for the military intervention by US forces and the military/financial support of the Palestinians – as they are for the neo-Nazies in Ukraine? Any bets?

  8. Don't forget in 2002 that when Arafat announced that the last Israeli peace offer made at Taba was "unconditionally accepted," Prime Minister Sharon's response was to say the offer had "expired" and he offered no alternative, So, what happened was:

    ISRAEL REJECTS ITS OWN PEACE TERMS.

    Israel is happy with the current status quo and will never make peace with the Palestinians, unless U.S. financial aid is withheld and an international campaign to boycott Israel is successful, like the one against South Africa.

  9. About time Kerry realized that those yellow drops the IsraeLIES are leaving all over his face is not rain …
    Next: cut the financial umbelical cord. Nothing motivates an Israeli to do something more than money …
    Finally: boycott the h*ll out of them, don't buy their goods, don't allow their representatives into the country and don't give their dual citizens any special privileges and force AIPAC to register as the representative of a foreign power.
    Let's give the Israelis a taste of their own medicine.

  10. The more the zionist expose themselves, the more Patriotic Americans are waking up to the fact that israel is a parasite.

  11. Damn straight!

  12. What I don't understand is why the Palestinians don't say, "Screw it, we're declaring a state with territory extant to the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

    I don't understand why they're making all these moves towards statehood without addressing the geography question. A state without declared borders is no state at all.

  13. You all are hilarious , debating here and make judgment calls, about whats going on in Israel,
    Calling it an apartheid country, I don’t say Netanyahu is a good Prime Minister, hes actually one of the worst we ever had, but you have to understand that releasing prisoners with blood on their hands Terrorists who murderd women children old people and just people in general, it’s a very hard move, and unlike what Kerry said, the people in Israel do not agree with it, to release murderers should not be a condition to talk peace, this in not car thieves those are terrorists who killed hundreds of people,
    We want peace , it’s the other side who raise their children with unending hatred towards us, I do not agree with a lot of things like building houses beyond the green line, but calling us apartheid?? R u serious ?? That’s ignorant , most of us wants peace , and I’m sure some of them to, but there’s always the feeling that they can do and ask whatever they want and we need to walk on eggs with them.

  14. Now we know the facts, or at least we have realized who is wasting time and Americans working people's resources, who is the guilty one, now here is the question: what, if anything USG is willing to do and how far USG willing to go.

  15. Well said however, unfortunately, US funding will continue…

  16. Because they fear the reprisals from Israel that would be sure to follow, and also the reprisals which Israel will force Uncle Sam to carry out as well.

  17. A parasite only lives off its host; in contrast Israel attempts to dominate its host.

  18. Israel will never recognize Palestine as a sovereign state. For myself, I do not see the solution to this conflict, and therefore left out

  19. The Obama administration has been slowly – and very quietly – peppering the U.S. military throughout the continent and putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of government contractors to build the necessary infrastructure for a permanent U.S. military presence.

  20. The Obama administration has been slowly a?? and very quietly a?? peppering the U.S. military throughout the continent and putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of government contractors to build the necessary infrastructure for a permanent U.S. military presence.

  21. […] shouldn’t be news to Psaki that the negotiations already fell apart because of Israel (according to John Kerry). So the agreement does not have an appreciable effect on peace talks. But more importantly, […]

  22. […] shouldn’t be news to Psaki that the negotiations already fell apart because of Israel (according to John Kerry). So the agreement does not have an appreciable effect on peace talks. But more importantly, […]

  23. […] According to Secretary of State John Kerry, an actual participant in the talks, the negotiations fell apart in early April when Israel abruptly stopped complying with the diplomatic stipulations and refused to fulfill its promise to release Palestinian prisoners and then announced the construction of 700 new settlement units in East Jerusalem as a provocation to the Palestinians. Talks fell apart because of Israel, not the Palestinians.  […]

  24. […] According to Secretary of State John Kerry, an actual participant in the talks, the negotiations fell apart in early April when Israel abruptly stopped complying with the diplomatic stipulations and refused to fulfill its promise to release Palestinian prisoners and then announced the construction of 700 new settlement units in East Jerusalem as a provocation to the Palestinians. Even then, Palestinians did not call off negotiations, so Netanyahu ordered his entire government to stop all contacts with the Palestinians. Talks fell apart because of Israel (and before the reconciliation announcement).  […]

  25. Until the Palestineans accept Israel's right to exist in the Middle East there will never be peace between them and Israel. And isn't it interesting that your readers never call for withdrawing financial support from both the Palestineans and Israel, never consider that Israel is under continuous threat, that Palestineans teach their children to hate Jews, that Christians are safer in Israel than Arab countries, or that Israeli concessions are tangible while Palestineans concessions are as epherial as the wind. Hence I can only understand these calls to withdraw support from Israel are based in ignorance, a desire to see Israel disappear because it is an inconvenience to the US, or anti-semitism.